The nationwide ammunition shortage isn’t just affecting civilians — it’s hitting law enforcement.
"Everybody is fighting for what is seems like a shrinking amount of ammunition out there," said Lt. Louie Tirona, firearms and tactics instructor for the Richmond Police Department.
With backorders on ammo stretching up to 12 months, law enforcement in the Northern, California, town have opted to train with Airsoft.
"We can do simple drills with Airsoft that would mimic what we would do with live fire," Tirona said. "They shoot small plastic [airsoft bb] pellets that still pack a punch."
According to sources, the [airsoft] guns used by the department look, feel and function almost like the real thing.
The neighboring town of Albany has followed suit. "It’s become harder and harder to get the ammunition we need to train our officers on a timely basis," said Albany Sgt. Dave Bettencourt. "We’re using Airsoft as an affordable option to try to maintain the officers’ skills."
The third-grade student brought an airsoft pellet gun to Thomas Jefferson Elementary on Monday. A teacher discovered the [airsoft] gun and notified administrators, said Mary Ley, a spokeswoman for the school district.
The student was automatically expelled from school for 10 days, after which an appeals hearing will be held to determine whether a student should face the state standard of a one-year expulsion for bringing a [airsoft] gun to school, Ley said.
The incident marks the third time in the last month a Bentonville student has brought a [airsoft] gun to school, Ley said. No one was injured in any of the incidents.
An eighth-grade student at Bentonville’s Washington Junior High School brought an air soft gun to the school with the purpose of selling it to another student in February, according to the school district. A few weeks earlier, a student brought a BB gun to Mary Jones Elementary School, Ley said.
The students involved in those two incidents had their recommended expulsions overturned by Superintendent Michael Poore following an appeals hearing, Ley said.